Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce service award goes to Steve Carter
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Apr. 18, 2013
The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has named Steve Carter, owner of Carter Chevrolet and Mazda of Manchester, the recipient of the 2013 GMCC Community Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize individuals and businesses in Manchester and Bolton for their service to the community.
Carter, who was chosen for his involvement with a wide range of organizations, will be presented with the award at the 112th annual meeting of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, April 25. “I don't feel that deserving,” said Carter. “Probably, I don't do enough.”
Carter has been involved with, or made donations to, organizations both local and national, including Manchester Area Council of Churches, Food Share, the Downtown Special Services District, the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and Toys for Tots. Carter attended East Catholic High School and served on the private school's board of directors, where he was involved in fundraising. He was also the head of the fundraising committee at St. James School.
The Manchester Road Race, the annual 4.748-mile race that draws thousands of runners and even more spectators to Manchester every Thanksgiving, have also benefited from Carter's generosity. The Road Race Committee uses the showroom of Carter Chevrolet, located on the corner of Main and Charter Oak Streets, as a place for media to set up and for elite runners to park on the morning of the race. The committee used to meet at the Army Navy Club on Main Street for this purpose, but as the annual event expanded, the committee outgrew this location. The committee approached Carter with the request, and he was happy to oblige. “That was a no-brainer. All I had to do was open up the building,” said Carter. “It's fun. It's kind of a wild scene inside because the showroom isn't that big, but it's better than what they had.”
Carter himself is a regular at the Road Race, and has run it more than 30 times. “It's a great way to start off Thanksgiving,” he said. “You feel like you've earned your Thanksgiving dinner.”
Carter said he believes supporting the community where customers live and work makes business sense, and advises all small business owners to do so as a way of getting to know their area and making themselves known. For him, giving back is part of a personal philosophy. “Why wouldn't you be involved in a community and help support it?” he said.
The drive to help your fellow man is not something he can easily put into words. “Look at what happened in Boston," he said, referring to the April 15 bombng near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy has a particular resonance for Carter, an avid runner. "I'm not sure people can verbalize why they went and helped,” he said. “Can you imagine finishing [a 26 mile run] and running over to the hospital to give blood?”
He said he is honored to receive the GMCC Community Service Award, but wants to share that honor with his fellow small business owners. “I'm very honored to be considered, but I feel like I'm representing everyone,” he said. “The majority of small businesses give back to the community in some way, and this year it happens to be me accepting the award. But it's on behalf of everybody.”